Another Hardy student was angry, lashing out at his teachers and often winding up in the principal's office.
- Paving the way for genuine freedom
About this series
Part 1, May 2:
From segregation to integration.
After decades of Jim Crow restrictions, black families in Hampton Roads launch legal campaigns to chip away at school segregation by demanding equal pay for teachers and equal resources for students. As World War II ends, those efforts evolve into court battles throughout Virginia that are focused on putting black and white children in the same classrooms.
Part 2, May 9:
Massive resistance to the Supreme Court's May 17, 1954, Brown v. Board of Education decision is essentially a Virginia invention. Not until 1968 did the Supreme Court tell New Kent County to integrate immediately.
Part 3, May 16:
Race and schools today.
Where do schools across our region stand 50 years after the Brown v. Board decision? We will assess where achievement gaps persist and where resegregating is rising.
Part 4, May 17:
After Brown v. Board.
On the anniversary of the Brown v. Board decision, we will examine new strategies aimed at addressing problems in our schools that remain the landmark ruling's unfinished legacy.
Part 5, May 23:
From court to courts.
A look at how tearing down racial barriers changed this hotbed of athletic achievement. We'll also weigh the impact desegregation had on other after-school programs.
Part 6, May 30:
Opening a community dialogue.
Students, parents, lawmakers and education experts will offer their prescriptions for improving learning in our schools. We will also look at the changing role the Daily Press played over the decades as desegregation battles raged on.
- Colleges and Universities
- Newport News (Newport News, Virginia)
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The students blossomed under the extra attention. One of them went from failing classes to making the honor roll.
"You have to guide," said Martha Jackson, the third-grader's mentor. "You have to nurture and you have to support."
The theme is repeated in schools in the area, across Virginia and throughout the country. More educators are devoting their time to providing special attention to students like these two boys, both of whom are black, to help them succeed.
Fifty years ago today, the Supreme Court ruled America's schools must desegregate to provide black children the same quality of education as white children.
But despite efforts like the one at Hardy, black students continue to lag behind their white peers in school.
As the achievement gap has become more apparent, more efforts have sprung up to close it. They range from the No Child Left Behind Act that evaluates how minority children are taught nationwide, to community-based programs for handfuls of children.
"A child needs to feel that he is cared for and belongs," said Hardy Elementary Principal Richard Crawford. "Some children just need an extra shoulder to lean on."
Many of the programs are geared toward minority students, but white students like those in the Williamsburg-James City County school system's AVID program take advantage of them as well.
In Newport News, schools work with community groups and businesses to find ways to unlock the doors to a child's success.
York County school officials recently formed a minority student achievement task force that works to identify strategies aimed at helping minority students score better on tests and increasing the number of minority students in advanced classes.
A program geared toward ensuring that average students maximize their potential has been a part of the Williamsburg-James City County school system for more than 20 years.
In many school districts, students benefit from mentoring or tutoring programs. And in some districts, parents get help on how to better help their children succeed in school.
CLOSING THE GAP
Students who fall somewhere between the at-risk and gifted-and-talented groups often are ignored. These students may be white, black, Asian or Hispanic, and all may have the potential to do better work. They simply don't know how to get there, said Darian Jones, minority achievement supervisor for Williamsburg-James City County schools.
AVID shows them a way. Advancement Via Individual Determination was started in 1980 and has spread to more than 1,500 schools nationwide. The ultimate goal of the program is to help prepare these students for college.
The W-JCC program, available to all races in middle and high school, was designed to give minority students a way to close the achievement gap. To qualify, students must have average-to-high test scores, a grade point average between 2.0 and 3.5 and show a desire to do well.